Bennett
Bennett Hadash Parush/Flash90

The upcoming Israeli legislative election is a referendum on Palestinian statehood, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (New Right) said Tuesday, calling for a strong right-wing bloc to pressure the Likud not to make concessions once President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan is presented later this year.

Speaking on Reshet Bet Tuesday morning, Bennett warned that after the election, Prime Minister Netanyahu would face heavy pressure to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“These are decisive days,” said Bennett. “The election is no longer just about politics, it’s now about the future of the Land of Israel. This election is a referendum on whether a Palestinian state will be established.”

“I’m not saying that Netanyahu is happy about this, but I’m concerned that he doesn’t have the strength to stand up to it. All of the pressure bearing down on one point, and only the New Right can stop it.”

Bennett also spoke out against the union of the Jewish Home, his former party, with the Otzma Yehudit faction.

“There is a huge rift between our positions. I don’t accept their positions at all. People who see Kahane as an archetype are not fit to serve in the Knesset – but the same is true of those who undermine Israel.”

Regarding issues of religion and state, Bennett said his party would oppose both religious and secular coercion.

“We’re opposed to secular coercion and religious coercion. We believe in a politics of agreement – that is to say, nothing will be passed into law regarding religion and state – not towards the secular side nor towards the religious.”

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